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Flat Earth: Chinese delicacies

A YEAR ago we consulted our soothsayer Miss Peachblossom for guidance at the start of the Chinese New Year. Unfortunately, she got her animals mixed up, so we had to ask her to devote more time to her family. This year we have decided to concentrate on food instead.

It is, of course, the year of the dog, though we hesitate to recommend roast or boiled puppy as remedy for winter ailments. But we have learned that the latest food crazes in China are maggot extract and ants. The former is described by the leading cadres of the kitchen as 'an appealing and huge new source of nourishment for the 1990s'. Ants, they say, are a 'miniature treasury of nutrition' and hold the key to long life. So next time they attack your sugar bowl, stir them into your tea and you may live to be a hundred. We have no advice on maggots.